I have really enjoyed doing some public speaking this year. I’m just back from the DDD Community Event in Galway and, once again, the feedback on my talk has been very positive. I always feel the responsibility of fulfilling people’s expectations, so hopefully I didn’t disappoint anybody. I must be doing something right though: 2 weeks ago I’ve been invited to present at Øredev, a ~1000 attendees conference in Sweden in November!
As promised, I put my slides on Slideshare. If you haven’t had a chance to attend, at least you could get a fair idea of what the session was all about. Let me know what you think! Don’t be fooled however, the slides are just a tiny part of the whole story.
In my exploration of how to design a better presentation, I used key books such as Presentation Zen and Beyond Bullet Points. I loved the ideas and approach of the first, the Hollywood-style methodology of the latter.
In my quest, I also came across Made to Stick, an eye-opener book which gives amazing examples of how simple, unexpected, concrete, credible and emotional stories can make ideas memorable.
So, what is this new presentation style about? While PowerPoint has been fundamentally the same for almost 20 years, our use of it is beginning to change. Slides are finally becoming more visual and essential, with a renewed appreciation of how people learn. I am particularly interested in the focus on stories and movie structures to make our messages more compelling.
It’s a fascinating idea isn’t it? In fact, I want to develop it further. Content matters more than ever. Pretty pictures that don’t carry a compelling story are just (annoying) pretty pictures.
In preparation for my next presentation, I just received 7 books on screen writing and more are on the way (speed-reading is handy, isn’t it?). No, I won’t be the next Stephen Spielberg and I don’t see myself walking down a red-carpet event any time soon. But I want to learn as much as I can from that industry to be better at mine. My challenge will be to present a potentially dense technical topic in a dramatic and captivating fashion. Who said it is going to be easy? It will be my pet project for my next few months, 48 minutes at a time.
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Great slides. Which books did you order?
Pictures are almost exclusively from istockphoto.com, by the way. The guy with the guitar is actually me…about 20 years ago 😉
The screenwriting books I bought are:
– Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting (Syd Field)
– Writing a Great Movie: Key Tools for Successful Screenwriting (Jeff Kitchen)
– The Anatomy of Story (John Truby)
– Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach (Paul Gulino)
– The Third Act: A Structural Approach to Writing Great Endings (Drew Yanno)
– Alternative Scriptwriting: Successfully Breaking the Rules (Ken Dancyger and Jeff Rush)
(+ another one I don’t have handy here)
Claudio, I’ve just had a great 1-week agile training and I am preparing for an exam (?!? I know! don’t ask).
Your slides are great, I would have loved to see your presentation (was it actually… filmed?).
I will definitely use your material for my exam, “3C” it’s so easy to remember 🙂
And you look great with a guitar btw
Paul, the seventh book is Teach Yourself Screenwriting (Ray Frensham)
Dinh, that’s great to hear!
FYI, the 3Cs is a concept borrowed from Ron Jeffries (http://www.xprogramming.com/xpmag/expCardConversationConfirmation.htm) and reported on the book Applied User Stories.
The session was filmed, but I heard there where be some techical problems with it so I don’t know if it will be broadcasted. Maybe I can do a special presentation exclusively for you next time i see you around 🙂
BTW, I just noticed that the slides that I put on Slideshare have been FEATURED this morning!
Wow, they are in the homepage and the featured section 🙂
Thanks for the info Claudio. Only one challenge left… finding time to read.
eheh, not to show off, but although I didn’t have much time these days (spending evenings playing PES 2008 on the wii with a friend of mine these days) i’m almost finishing my fourth book already.
They are all different but interesting in different ways.
“teach yourself screenwriting” is a good start and gives a good overall understanding of the structure (a bit dry perhaps, but gives a complete overview)
“Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting” is the de-facto classic starting point for all screen writers.
“the third act” helped me clarify that the end of my existing presentation lacks a truly satisfying “final battle”/resolution!
“Writing a great movie”: I haven’t quite finished it yet, but I really love it. The working tools in it are brilliant and I would probably reccommend it as a “second book” after you get the basic understanding of the general structure.
Hopefully something good will come out of this 🙂
lol I’m in the same both. Totally addicted to forza motorsport 2 running in this online league is taking most of my spare time. Planning on visiting Florance early June which give me a nice window to start reading again.
Good stuff Claudio, thanks again!
I updated the slides to the latest version of my talk, by the way
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